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Good to Great. (#169)


The Confident Leader


Scott owns an outdoor advertising company, and he shared that he was contemplating taking down some of his revenue-generating sign structures currently being rented to advertisers. His rationale for taking down performing assets shocked me.

“Good is the enemy of great.”

Jim Collins (American author and speaker)

This Week’s Edition

Evaluate your strategies each year to ensure you don’t just continue doing things that have worked in the past potentially missing an opportunity to do something more significant in the future. 

Clarify Your Thinking

Scott was evaluating his portfolio of sign structures (i.e., billboards). He believed that some of his sign portfolio was dragging down the quality of rest.  

He thought that if he eliminated the drag he could increase the value of the remaining portfolio. Proactively cutting off profitable revenue? Who would make that move?

He risked it and took down the structures and lost the revenue. In the end, he rented the balance of the portfolio for a greater fee based on his hunch. 

Old Thinking: Revenue is so hard to come by, I can’t take the risk of stopping something that is contributing to the bottom line. 

New Thinking: Taking a look at our business model and the potential opportunities before us, are we maximizing our potential? Are we settling for good at the expense of possible greatness?

Thoughts Lead to Actions

Businesses have strategies that endure from year to year. An annual strategic planning process allows you to take stock of those strategies refusing to let them pile up over time cluttering your leadership life. 

Conducting a current state assessment of your strategies is like an annual garage cleaning: take everything out, put it on the driveway and sort it into piles: 

  • Keep it: recommit to it because it’s useful.
  • Give it away: help it find a new home where it can be useful.
  • Retire it: recognize that it has exhausted it’s usefulness.

To ensure that every strategy is performing and useful to fulfilling your future vision, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which strategies are working?
  • Do they help me achieve my future vision?
  • Are there better strategies we might need to employ?
  • Should I consider retiring a perfectly good strategy?

Are you prepared to stop doing something that is producing good results and bet on something that might produce better results?

Leaders faced with this question may suffer from Status-Quo Bias – favoring the current situation and maintaining it due to fear of losing it. This can result in doing nothing new. 

“If it’s working why do we need to do anything differently?”

It’s a subtle bias on an emotional level that makes us reduce risk and prefer what is familiar. It has pretty significant consequences when seeking out new ways to achieve your vision.

Marshall Goldsmith’s title of his 2007 book captures the conundrum so well: “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.” Sometimes we are going to have to do things differently to get to the next level even if that means retiring perfectly good revenue streams to pursue greatness. 

Boost Your Performance

Things are changing fast. Technology advancements are happening at lightning speed. I have one client that is bent on disrupting themselves before anyone else can. That seems like an good way to stay ahead of the game – boost your performance!

What’s Your Opinion?

Do you conduct an annual strategic planning process? Share it with me at

If you are going to be a leader, you might as well be a good one. Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

Robin Pou, Chief Advisor and Strategist

We live to make bad leadership extinct so forward this newsletter to others who strive to be confident leaders. 


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What is “The Confident Leader”?

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began a video series called “Panic or Plan?” It was designed to equip leaders to navigate the doubt they experienced and to rise in the confidence they needed to lead during turbulent times. It took off. I then started this newsletter to equip leaders in the same fashion each week for the doubt that crashes across the bow of their leaderSHIP.